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   Welcome to TSLMail #130 - Friday, May 28, 2004    
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   Featured Items TechLocker.com!


FATHER'S DAY GIFT IDEAS!
Father's Day is June 20th, and it's never too early to get a good start on buying a gift for dear old Dad.  Here are some great gift ideas for Dad from our "New Items" category in TechLocker.com!
Farewell Big East plaque   $39.99
"Farewell Big East" It is time to move on! A fantastic panoramic photograph of the 2003 VT SU game. Hang it in your office, den or wherever you want to be reminded of football season. Our plaque is framed in black and measures 9"x18"x1/2".
9"x18" Lane Stadium Panoramic print   $19.99
"Farewell Big East" It is time to move on! A fantastic panoramic photographic print of the 2003 VT SU game. Hang it in your office, den or wherever you want to be reminded of football season. Our print measures 9"x18".
Limited Edition Lane Stadium Print   $65.00
A great panoramic print of Lane Stadium. Orange and Maroon fills the mecca for Hokie football fans everywhere. This collectible print is 36 X 16 and ready for framing. Our Lane Stadium print will look great hanging in your home or office.
Maroon VT logo HardHat   $25.99
The ultimate topper for the ultimate Hokie fan. This is an actual OSHA approved hardhat and can be used on the job site. Our maroon hat features a great looking VT logo in the front. Complete your Hokie fan uniform with this GEM!
VT Turkey Call   $29.99
A great noisemaker for Lane Stadium. This Turkey call features an engraved Hokie Bird on the cover and Virginia Tech Hokies on the sides. Made from quality hardwoods, this call actually produces the call of the wild turkey.
VT embossed Leather Portfolio   $44.99
Let them know you are a Hokie fan at your next meeting. Our genuine leather writing pad holder features the VT logo embossed on the front cover. Includes several pockets and a writing pad.
VT Rollabout Tailgating Cooler   $49.99
A mobile tailgating machine. Our Coleman cooler is imprinted with the VT logo and Hokies in maroon and orange. Holds 64 cans plus ice. Features durable 7in wheels, tow handle for one-hand operation & reversible lid that serves as a tray.

 

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   Tech Sports News

Crown Auto of Virginia is proud to be the exclusive luxury automobile sponsor of TechSideline.

Crown has four dealerships in the state of Virginia located in Richmond, Midlothian and Charlottesville:

If you are in the market for a new car, show your support of the TSL community and provide Crown first shot at winning your business.

Click the links above, and learn about no-nonsense Internet pricing, on-line exclusive offers, search their inventories, or simply admire photos and multimedia of some of the finest cars made.


A New Look Coming to TechSideline.com
by Will Stewart, TechSideline.com

Eagle-eyed TSL readers -- okay, you don't have to be that alert to see it -- have noticed that the pages on TechSideline.com are undergoing a design change. The new format has been previewed in the latest TSL Pass articles, and can be seen on the Men's Hoops, Women's Hoops, and Football Pages as well, plus the last News and Notes update that we did.

You'll notice that the new format is consistent from page to page, instead of our free articles, TSL Pass articles, sports home pages, etc. all having different layouts. The biggest change is the inclusion of our handy little "nav links" at the top of each page, instead of just being present on the home page.

The nav links are the little buttons near the top of the page that say Forums, News and Notes, Links, Hokie News, etc. We have had them on our home page for a while, but now they're making their way into all of TSL's subpages and even onto the message boards.

There's an old saying in Web design that your site visitor should never be more than three clicks away from any page on your site, and the nav links will go a long way towards making TSL compliant with that little nugget of advice.

The nav links are also contained in one file that is referenced from each TSL page, so they're easily updated to reflect the changing nature of the web site.

In the coming weeks, we'll be working the new format into all TSL pages, so look for it. The changes are evolutionary, not revolutionary, but we think that they'll go a long way towards improving navigation on the site and making it easier for you to use.


Hidden Gems

While we're on the topic of the TSL site design, here are some hidden gems on the site that you may or may not be aware of:

  • ACC Newspapers section on the Links Page -- look for this handy reference to newspapers that cover all of the ACC teams.

  • RSFC History link on the Links Page -- in the "College Football References" section of our Links Page is this awesome link to historical college football info.

  • VT Football Scores database link on the Football Page -- with this VT football scores database, you'll never get the score wrong again when referring to past Hokie football games. 

  • BBBS Ticket Donation info from the Football Page, Men's Hoops Page, and Women's Hoops Page -- can't use your tickets, and can't sell them? Donate them to a local chapter of the Big Brothers Big Sisters, using this link and info.

  • Help/Account Info Page, linked in the upper right-hand corner of the home page -- need to update your TSL email addresses, retrieve passwords, or change passwords?  Click here for all that info and more!


A Few Thoughts Before I Head Out for Vacation

Yep, I'm taking a vacation this week, heading to the beach for seven days of R&R and battery recharging. As much as I love hanging out on the site all day, talking Hokie sports, even a humble webmaster has to take some time off.

Going to the beach reminds me of when I went last year at about the same time. Look, I know I said in an article just a couple of weeks back that I didn't want to relive the ACC expansion saga, but I can't help but recall last year at this time, when I went to the beach at the height of expansion.

At this time last year -- late May, 2003 -- things were looking as grim as they would get for the Big East. The ACC had voted on May 16th to invite Miami, Boston College, and Syracuse into the league. The Big East yearly meetings in Ponte Vedra Beach Florida followed shortly thereafter and produced nothing of substance, only a tirade by Big East commissioner Mike Tranghese.

Everyone was counting the Canes, Orange, and Eagles as gone, and were discussing what the Big East was going to do to survive. Dave Gavitt had already proposed his new "eight-and-eight" Big East, a huge 16-team league consisting of one 8-team division that played D1-A football and another division that didn't. The names Louisville, Central Florida, DePaul, Marquette, Dayton and Xavier were being thrown around as Big East expansion targets.

Having decided to invite the three Big East teams, the ACC was planning site visits as required by the ACC by-laws, with Miami scheduled first. Meanwhile, the Raleigh News and Observer broke the story that in 1998, Tranghese, Syracuse AD Jake Crouthamel, and Miami AD Paul Dee had met with ACC officials and discussed a possible football merger between the two leagues.

Former North Carolina State athletics director Les Robinson said in the story that he was at a secret meeting in Atlanta in 1998 in which Tranghese and ACC Commissioner John Swofford led a discussion about Miami, Syracuse and Boston College possibly leaving the Big East to make the ACC a 12-school league.

"It was a fact-finding, visionary kind of meeting, a testing-of-the-waters kind of thing," Robinson said. "Tranghese, maybe looking to stay one step ahead of the posse, was talking about the Big East becoming an all-basketball conference."

According to Robinson, back in 1998 Tranghese was going to foist -- get this -- Miami, BC, and Syracuse off on the ACC Even the BE's own commish, who was bashing the ACC every chance he had, looked like a traitor.

There was one tiny ray of hope, but that was being largely ignored. Newspaper articles were appearing suggesting that Virginia Governor Mark Warner was pressuring the University of Virginia to support expansion only if it included VT. That was largely dismissed as political posturing, with no one knowing at the time the role Warner would play. It's a role that is widely debated today -- did UVa president John Casteen back VT because of pressure from Warner, or did he just use the "Warner pressure" as political cover for a pro-VT stance he had had all along? Whatever the truth is, no one saw it being a big factor in mid-late May of 2003.

It was in this environment that I embarked on vacation. And while I was on vacation, things finally started turning in the Big East's favor. As the ACC conducted site visits to Miami, SU, and BC, the other schools in the Big East filed suit against the ACC. The lawsuit wasn't perceived as something that was going to stop ACC expansion, but at least the Big East was doing something, instead of just talking.

Upon my arrival back home from vacation, more important and substantial things started to happen. Namely, the ACC started holding conference calls ... and failing to come to any sort of resolution. Eventually, things would collapse, and the stalemate would be broken by the ACC dropping Syracuse from consideration and inviting VT into the conference, instead.

But when I went on vacation last year, boy it looked bad for the Hokies, and it was in my mind all weekend, messing up my good time at the beach. This year, no such obstacles.

Have a fun week. There will be no TSLMail and no TechSideline.com updates next week, but I have arranged to have Hokie News updates every day, and recruiting analyst Chris Horne will be working most of next week, as well. The message boards will be monitored, so don't get any funny ideas about misbehavin'.

Enjoy yourself, and we'll see you in about ten days!

   TechSideline.com Pass - Your Ultimate Ticket to Hokie Sports!


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(Monthly and Quarterly options also available)

  • Feature Articles
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As an additional bonus, all subscribers will receive a 10% discount on all purchases made at Techlocker.com, our online store providing Hokie-related apparel and gift items. If that's not enough, you should know that your subscription will help support your favorite website, TechSideline.com.

For more info on TechSideline Pass, and to subscribe, click here. To give TSL Pass as a gift (one-year subscriptions only), click here.

-- Will Stewart

   TechSideline.com Updates From the Past Week


Rookie Diary #12: Learning the System
by TechSideline.com, 5/27/04, 4:30 pm
It's pretty much like being in mini-camp again. They're called coaching sessions. We stretch, do walk-throughs. The defense gets together, the offense gets together, and we walk through what we're studying that day. I've started learning what I'm doing a lot better. When I mess up now, I know what it is I did wrong. I'm just trying to move a little faster now. I still have my mistakes, but I'm definitely learning what I'm doing a lot better.
in TSL Pass

Visionaries? I Beg to Disagree
by Jim Alderson, 5/26/04, 3:00 pm
The ACC television deal has been signed, sealed and delivered. Willís recent articles on the subject lay out the particulars of the package that will go a long way towards securing Techís athletics future. It was an excellent synopsis of the financial package, but there was one sentence in his most recent article that caught my eye, however. The last one: "They look like visionaries instead of bumblers, after all." With all due respect to the guy at whose pleasure I continue to write these columns, visionaries? I beg to disagree.
in TSL Pass

A Gym Rat's Notebook #19: ACC Recruiting Rankings
by Elijah Kyle, 5/25/04, 4:35 pm
After walking and driving through the upscale neighborhood for ages, but without being able to purchase, last spring saw an upheaval for Virginia Tech, and the times-they-are-a-changin, to quote Bob Dylan. With the Virginia Tech athletic program taking up residence in a new neighborhood, after finally getting the seller to acquiesce on a purchase price after a number of years, it is time to take a look at exactly what our neighbors are up to. More precisely, what kind of toys are in their attics, and have they been adding wisely?
in TSL Pass

 
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